Suitable for 6-11 (according to the material but you know your kids best and younger kids may just need more supervision)
This is a novel way of getting kids outside, even if it’s a grey day, exploring the Queenstown Wharf and having a blast! The Spy Mission depends on the adult(s) setting it up in a way that means the kids are completely taken in – it’s worth buying the material and having a quick look through everything in the attached purple pamphlet BEFORE your child gets hold of it, so you know what’s going on!
The brown envelope should be given to your child in such a way that they think they have been selected by another agent to help solve a crime. There are some suggestions on the website for how to do this here (under step 3).
Once your kid(s) are sucked in and eager to be secret agents, they’ll need to work their way from the western end of the lakefront round to the top of the Queenstown Gardens, where they’ll deliver their suspect written on a postcard that’s provided, into a letterbox. Depending on the age and ability of the kids, you’ll either be able to follow at a distance or perhaps help them (having been sworn to secrecy!) to read and complete the clues. Younger kids will probably also need quite a bit of help to match the clues to the suspects’ descriptions to decide who the criminal is.
It’s worth noting that while it says that each child in the party should have their own pack, this secret mission should work quite well shared between a couple of children e.g. if an older child can help a younger child and/or if different roles can be assigned like one is in charge of reading and writing, the other is in charge of searching for the next clue destination.
It’s also worth noting that while a pass for one child is included for the underwater observatory, you’ll need to buy extra passes for extra kids sharing the mission and/or for adult helpers. Older kids should be able to go in by themselves and workout the clues which are on the walls going down the stairs. Younger kids will definitely need someone older helping them.
You’ll need a smart phone for the first clue which involves uploading a photo onto the Kids Spy Networks’ website. At no point does anyone make direct contact with your child and uploaded photos are not for public access – in fact your child needs to be ‘hidden’ in the photo so there’s no danger to their online security. Once the mission is complete, they can go online again to watch a short video of the ‘culprit’ being arrested.
If you have kids that love the idea of solving puzzles and being crime fighters and are likely to be taken in by the whole secret agent thing, this is a highly recommended activity for the lakefront of Queenstown.
Related tagsOtago, Outside, Queenstown
Address: You can buy the Spy Mission online (allow at least a week) or from Bound Bookstore at 1B/3 Church St, Queenstown. NB the bookstore is closed on Sundays. Don’t take your kids to the bookstore with you to make this purchase!